Michael Douglas Has Dating Advice for His Son: Be Courteous

02/01/2013 at 11:00 AM ET

Michael Douglas Dating Advice for Son
MediaPunch Inc/Rex USA

For most parents, nothing is scarier than the idea of their teen starting to date — even if you’re Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, whose 12-year-old son Dylan is entering that arena.

“I’m trying to digest it all, and I’m just trying to remember what it’s like to be in a teenage romance,” Douglas, 68, told PEOPLE at Thursday’s New York premiere of Zeta-Jones’s new film Side Effects, sponsored by Cinema Society and Michael Kors.

“And what I remember scares me as a father!”

Actually, the doting dad says he set relaxed dating rules for Dylan, because his son is so responsible.

“I’m not the over-protective dad,” says the Oscar winner. “Dylan is a great kid and I trust him. He’s having fun and conducting himself very well.”

And does the star of HBO’s Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra — who gets to kiss Matt Damon onscreen — determine which girls Dylan can or cannot date?

“I don’t have much say in it. I keep my mouth shut,” said Douglas. “But I like his choices so far.”

Douglas, who has been happily married to Zeta-Jones, 43, for 12 years, has one piece of advice to give to his son about courting women: always be courteous.

“Unsolicited advice is a hostile gesture. I remembered that from a long time ago,” he says with a laugh. “But I want him to know to always be polite and respectful. Just don’t try too hard. If he asks me for specific advice, I’ll have a long talk with him.”

As for his own relationship with Zeta-Jones, “Catherine and I are doing well,” he said. “She is more beautiful than ever inside and out. I support her with everything and she is simply the best.”

– Paul Chi

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Anonymous on

I wonder what exactly Michael means by “dating”. I don’t see a problem with opposite sex twelve-year-olds doing innocent activities like holding hands while walking to class, eating lunch together in the cafeteria, or calling or texting one another (as long as the texting is just that and not the varient that starts with an S!).

But I think anything more serious than that is innapproprite at that age. I feel old for saying this, but in my opinion, actual, serious dating should wait until fourteen or fifteen.

valeskas on

I guess, he trusted his older son too and that got that one in prison.

meghan on

Cameron got himself in prison.

Michelle on

You can only do your best with your children and the rest is up to them!

He sounds very respectful of CZJ and they have been married for a long time now. God bless them.

Amaryllis on

Isn’t he about 4 years from dating?

orangekitty on

Son please do not leave your heroin in your girlfriend’s purse.

Lexi on

Well said and I agree. His son is only 12 and he says “I like his choices so far”….how many young girls has he “dated” at such a young age? I remember having a “boyfriend” at that age (6th grade) and all we did is hold hands and gave little kisses on each others cheeks, passed notes saying “check yes or no” and writing each others names on our notebooks. It lasted maybe a month lol. I have an 11 year old son who thinks having a girlfriend makes you popular and asked me if I think he should get one (a girlfriend). I said no. Dating should wait until high school, IMHO, but Michael’s right about one thing…boys need to be taught to be courteous!!!

Sarah S. on

@valeskas and meghan…LOL…I was thinking the same thing!

Guest on

the kid is 12 years old – maybe his Dad should be telling him not to date until he is older – rather than how to behave on a date.

Halee on

Twelve year old boys are not yet inclined to the opposite sex unless some form of idea/corruption is placed into his head.

I understand Michael Douglas’ need to rush things viz his advanced age and cancer issues but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was just kiddin.

Guest on

12 years old and he’s entering the DATING field?? What kind of madness!!! He’s a child for Pete’s sake!

Tammy Jones on

Great advice, be courteous. Very good advice to pass on to adults & young people, sometimes people just forget

Lina on

and to his other son in prison: “don’t drop the soap in the shower!”

This story is hilarious as Douglas himself bragged how aggressive he was the first time meetig Zeta-Jones, “I want to be the father of your children”

classy guy NOT!

Manon on

Did I mis-read this or he’s talking about his 12 yr.old starting to date? Isn’t that a bit young? Manners & repsect are so important, but still- 12?

Hooty on

Good advice, a little goes a long way.

myuntidydesk on

I wonder how these happy little stories about his life with his younger kids make his son Cameron feel. I realize that ultimately, Cameron made his own decisions and choices, but if his dad had been there for him more when he was a kid, maybe his choices would have been better.

PackLeader on

For anyone out there that thinks 12 year old children dating is cute and innocent; my brother is a respiratory therapist at a hospital and told me he treated a 12 year old girl delivering her SECOND baby. Says he sees 12-13 yr olds having babies all the time. In fact, a girl in my daughter’s 5th grade class was also pregnant. So, this in not something to be taken lightly. Kids that age should be focused on developing as people, learning new skills and abilities; not looking for romantic relationships.

Case on

Twelve years old is way too young to be dating!!! GEEZ!!!

Anonymous on

Isn’t 12 a bit young to be dating and totally inappropriate. No wonder there are kids at 13 with babies with an kid of 12 starting in the dating arena with a dad who keeps his mouth closed with giving the kid any kind of advice. I can see going to the movies with a boy that’s a friend but an actual date give me a break.

kim on

and when his little boy is older, he can teach him all the tricks to dating someone young enough to be his daughter.

WiddoMouse on

The boy is 12 years old. I don’t think he needs dating advice for another four plus years. He should also be interested in basketball and going to school right now.

dsfg on

Fifth grade was when I started dating, when we were all 10-11 years old. It was innocent; we didn’t actually go on dates, we just hung around each other at school and held hands. Hopefully this is what’s going on with Dylan.

Emily on

“Serious dating” should start at the age of 18.

Anonymous on

lol, Americans, huh? Morbid fear of anything that could be sexualised…

I had a ‘boyfriend’ when I was 12. That doesn’t mean we were having sex or even thinking about it. You’re in puberty, you notice people you are attracted to, but in my case that meant seeing a film with them and maybe holding their hand as we walked home.

Of course there are people who get pregnant too young but I can guarantee that FORBIDDING your child from dating until they are older (lol, one person actually said 18, really??) is not the answer. Making sure they can talk to you if they have questions, being open and honest and giving them reassuring and sensible advice is the best way to go. Believe me!

Anonymous on

People on here are comparing Cameron, who is a grown man, to Dylan, who is a 12 year old. I’m fairly certain that people, even celebrities, live and learn. Just because he (Michael) is a relaxed parent doesn’t mean that all of his kids have to end up like the one who does dope and landed himself in jail. You cannot blame a parent for something their grown child has done.

That being said, I was interested in boys before the age of 12 years old and called it “dating”, which it was not, not really. We just held hands at school and sometimes hung out with our mutual group of neighborhood pals.

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